Photo of a brick wall

Brownstone Invests in New Technology

Brownstone Graphics is now equipped with brand new laptop computers that utilize touch screen monitors. It mixes the muscle of a computer with the elegance of a tablet. This way when we are on the go, our clients can travel with us. Or at least their projects do. 

What’s a cool computer though without the latest design software from the Adobe Creative Cloud? Well, we’ve got that too. This cutting-edge software allows us to be right on the pulse of a creative tomorrow. Whether it’s designing your new logo, manipulating your photograph or formatting your layout, our software is up-to-date, and we are more than ready to push your project to the next level.

Brownstone Visits Solar Conference

Solar Conference 2010

According to key leaders at the Solar International 2010 Conference, Charles Darwin's statement is relevant to the solar industry: "In the long history of humankind those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed."  The October conference, held in Los Angeles, California, was visited by 23,300 industry attendees including Kathryn Sikule, Brownstone's president. The annual event is the largest business-to-business solar energy conference and expo in North America.

"The benefits of collaboration can be seen by any business or industry. In particular, knowing what is relevant and challenging to the solar industry is helpful to our company thus enabling us to better assist our renewable energy clients," said Sikule. "It's our way of quietly making a difference."

Brownstone Goes “Green!”


Brownstone Graphics principal, Kathryn Sikule recently joined the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

According to the Council, the USGBC is the nation’s foremost coalition of leaders, from every sector of the building industry working to promote buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable and healthy places to live and work. The USGBC provides educational opportunities to learn more about sustainable design strategies.

Brownstone Graphics looks forward to the opportunities the USGBC offers to expand our knowledge regarding sustainability strategies that can help our business, our community and the clients we serve. Another step in Quietly Making a Difference. 

Social Media: Effective marketing tool or just for fun?

IREC Facebook
Facebook page for the Interstate Renewable Energy Council

As technology continues to evolve, social media applications like YouTube and Facebook have become new gadgets for companies to add to their marketing tool belts. While the roots of social media stem from a desire for individuals to network with one another online, the field has expanded to include everything from major news corporations to small business owners.

Social media has become more than just a way to connect with old classmates or share family photos. Businesses have taken note, and are utilizing social networking as a way to reach, and stay involved with, their target markets.  

A study by Michael Stelzner, entitled Social Media Marketing Industry Report: How Marketers are Using Social Media to Grow Their Businesses reveals that out 880 small business owners surveyed:

“A full 88% of respondents use social media networks, and 81% of them reported gaining business exposure as a result.” (Social Media Networks as a Marketing Tool by Zeke Camusio)

At Brownstone Graphics, we have also seen an increase in requests from clients to help brand their social media applications. Requests have ranged from producing company YouTube videos to creating Facebook graphics, such as the ones seen above for the Interstate Renewable Energy Council.

As social media continues to play a prevalent role in today’s marketing, businesses continually have to find new ways to stay connected with their customers and members. At Brownstone Graphics we have expanded our resources to help our clients with their social media goals. If you haven't incorporated social media in your marketing mix, ask us about it and we can help!

Brownstone enhances client websites behind the scenes

client CMS website screen shot
Frank Barrie, www.knowwhereyourfoodcomesfrom

In today’s market, many companies are looking to harness the powerful tool of the internet to help their organization grow and reach its goals. The best way to do this is through a company website that is continually updated and tailored to the needs of the customers and members.

Updating a website on a regular basis can be a daunting task for many. Brownstone Graphics has responded to this need by enabling some of our clients to easily update the material on their websites through the use of content management systems (CMS).

This means that the Brownstone Graphics team sets up the design and framework for the site, and then we allow our clients to go in and easily perform tasks like editing the text, updating pictures, and creating new pages.

Frank Barrie, with his website, is one such client who is using a content management system Brownstone Graphics set up for him. When asked for his thoughts on using a CMS for updating his site, Frank replied

“As the user of a CMS, I am surprised at my ability to input information so easily and intuitively. When I recently posted a restaurant review on my site,
I didn't even pull out the written directions. Brownstone has given me the confidence to do that!”

Brownstone Graphics is always looking for new ways to empower and support our clients in their endeavors. Introducing the use of content management systems for easily updating websites is just another way we make a difference for our clients.

Brownstone responds to growing need for web videos

Brownstone team on video location
Brownstone team on location at local renewable energy installation.

With the capabilities of technology expanding every day, there is a greater emphasis on interactivity between companies and organizations and the customers and members they serve. A great way to form a strong connection with viewers is to make web videos an important component of a company web site.

The article “The Importance of Web Video in Marketing” emphasizes that “the main reason why web videos are so important to Internet marketers is because it allows them to connect with their potential customers on an intimate basis.” (Web Video, 2010)

Brownstone Graphics has been working on producing web videos for renewable energy installations in the area. Our Brownstone team has been able to go out on location and tape interviews and testimonials to be used in company web videos. We will be posting video samples on our website in the coming months.

In a world where the key to customer relations is connectivity, Brownstone Graphics is helping to bring companies and their customers closer together.

Brownstone gardens featured in new book: In the Neighborhood

Brownstone Garden
Photo from Brownstone's joint gardens.

Brownstone Graphics takes pride in helping to foster smart growth by contributing to the sense of community where we are located.

Brownstone’s office space shares joint gardens with adjacent neighbors and these gardens have recently been featured in Peter Lovenheim’s book In the Neighborhood, as well as in the May 2nd issue of Parade Magazine in an article entitled “Meet the Neighbors.”

Lovenheim’s book, which deals with the sense of community that is being lost in today’s neighborhoods, shares stories and examples from neighbors around the country who have managed to maintain a connection to one another.

“In Albany, N.Y.’s Center Square/Hudson Park, owners of six adjoining brick row houses have traded a bit of privacy for a lot of beautiful gardening. ‘Our tiny backyards were really shaded from the stockade fences between each unit,’ recalls one of the owners, Kathryn Sikule. ‘You really couldn’t grow too much.’ Over time, neighbors agreed to take down their fences and merge gardens … The result, Sikule says, has ‘brought us all together as a community.’” (“Meet the Neighbors”, Parade Magazine)

Brownstone Advises Local Design Students

AIGA Portfolio Review
Brownstone's design team reviews portfolios at the AIGA Capital Region Portfolio Review.

Brownstone Graphics is always looking for occasions to further the reach of our company goals, which is why we were delighted to meet with and advise students in our local community and our design industry.

Recently, we invited two students into our office to talk about their career goals and to show them what we do here at Brownstone Graphics. We spoke with a senior high school student who is planning to attend college in the art field, as well as a senior at St. Lawrence University who plans to combine her dual majors of art and science into a unique career path.

This month we attended the Second Annual Upstate New York AIGA Capital Region Student Portfolio Review held at The Crossings in Colonie, New York. The evening was a chance for local professionals to come and review the graphic arts portfolios of graduating college seniors from around the Capital Region. We all enjoyed having the opportunity to lend our time and experience to encourage the next generation of artists and designers.

The E-mail Signature: Overlooked and Underutilized

Brownstone Graphics E-mail Signature

Your company logo, letterhead, business cards and web site are all important marketing tools used to help distinguish your company – but what about your e-mail signature?

While branding your e-mail signature may seem like a simple step to take, the signature that you use to sign your business correspondence is a valuable marketing opportunity that speaks volumes about your company every time you click “send.”

Marketing and communications consultant Nancy Schwartz states that an effective e-mail signature “builds a brand or recognizable identity for your organization … [and] serves as a cognitive flag, enabling email recipients to make connections among emails received from various members of your organization.” (Nonprofits' Most Missed Marketing Tool -- Email Signatures, Nancy Schwartz & Company)

We recently redesigned our own e-mail signature to take advantage of the great branding opportunity it offers. We used the same colors and fonts to maintain consistency with our other Brownstone Graphics business materials, and we also included a small graphic of our company logo. Including your essential contact information, as well as a link to your company website, is key to a successful e-mail signature.

In our research of e-mail signatures, we were surprised to find that there are not many books on this topic. We are always looking for ways to help our clients with their marketing materials, and we are hoping to create an informational book that discusses the importance of a well designed e-mail signature. Let us know what you think or send us examples of e-mail signatures you think are great. We’d love your feedback!

Brownstone Wins Special Recognition Award

Ken Jurman, IREC’s Board Chairman hands award to Kathryn Sikule.
Ken Jurman, IREC’s Board Chairman hands award to Kathryn Sikule.

Principal Kathryn Sikule was presented with a special recognition award by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) on October 26, 2009 in Anaheim, CA at their annual meeting. IREC is a non-profit organization breaking down barriers and accelerating renewable energy since 1982.

“Brownstone Graphics has been making IREC look good in our print and electronic media since the early 1990s. For 15 years, Brownstone Graphics has been by our side promoting renewable and sustainable energy resources and practices. We consider Brownstone Graphics an important partner and friend and recognize Kathryn and Brownstone for making IREC a better organization” said Jane Weissman, IREC’s executive director in announcing the award.

We are grateful and honored to receive this  recognition  because one of our key commitments as a company is to promote renewable energy.

Brownstone Graphics—Quietly Making a Difference.

Contact | 518-434-8707 | © 2017 Brownstone Graphics